Study: Trying to Conceive Soon After Miscarriage Ups Odds for Live Birth

A new study challenges conventional wisdom about the right time to TTC again following a pregnancy loss.
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Typically doctors say to wait at least three months following a miscarriage to try getting pregnant again. But according to a groundbreaking new National Institutes of Health study published in Obstetrics & Gynecology, trying to conceive within three months after an early pregnancy loss (before 20 weeks) actually increases couples' chances of achieving a live birth.

"Our data suggest that women who try for a new pregnancy within three months can conceive as quickly, if not quicker, than women who wait for three months or more," says lead study author Enrique Schisterman, Ph.D.

To reach this conclusion, researchers looked at data from a study on the effects of low-dose aspirin on more than 1,000 women with a history of pregnancy loss. About three-quarters of the participants tried to conceive within three months of losing an early pregnancy, and 69 percent were successful, versus only half of women who waited longer than three months, but within six months.

They were also more likely to have a live birth than women who waited longer; 53 percent as opposed to just 36 percent. And, they found, a woman's risk for pregnancy complications did not increase if she tried for a baby sooner.

Looking to get pregnant again after a miscarriage? Learn what to expect and when you can start trying again.

Researchers note while there is no physiological reason to wait to try for baby, many couples may not be ready emotionally after losing a pregnancy. But for those who are ready, says study author Karen Schliep, Ph.D., "our findings suggest that conventional recommendations for waiting at least three months after a loss may be unwarranted."

This is certainly food for thought for the many women affected by miscarriage; as many as 10 to 25 percent of pregnancies end in loss according to the American Pregnancy Association. While this data is certainly encouraging, it's definitely up to the individual when it comes to trying to conceive again.

Melissa Willets is a writer/blogger and a mom. Follow her on Twitter (@Spitupnsuburbs), where she chronicles her love of exercising and drinking coffee, but never simultaneously.

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